Saturday, October 29, 2022

Baby You're A Firework

Today this brilliant boy turns three years old. 

I try to write my grands a letter here every year on their birthday, which means today is his day. 

Dear Max, 

Today you are three. And you really are brilliant. You talk like a full grown adult which is one of everyone's favorite things about you. I spent all my working life with children your age and I've never met another who can carry on a conversation the way you can. You use all the pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions and adverbs and you use them correctly. It's both amazing and hilarious to hear a 2-year old say 'please brush my teeth very very gently' and 'I'll be up there shortly'. 

You notice every big and little thing from the planets in the sky ('I see Jupiter!!') to the tiniest butterfly in the field behind your house. I look at you and see the wheels turning as you try to understand all the hows and whys of this world. You ask a lot of questions and you forget nothing. 

You are appropriately nicknamed here on Nana's blog because a wild rumpus is definitely your jam. You are a climber and a bouncer and a jumper and you throw yourself at both the sofa and at life. You ride your scooter like a pro, can tell a Chinook from an Apache, love books, cars-trucks-trains, chicken nuggets, and most of all the color RED. Red is your favorite everything. Just give you all the red. 

Besides being appropriately nicknamed in the blog world, you are also appropriately named in real life. You are a Will with a WILL!!! and personally Nana thinks this is true of many second borns. Just ask me about your Auntie M when she was two turning three-ha! 

Your strong spirit, steely determination, and never-ending curiosity will serve you well as you grow into adulthood. In the meantime we love to see life unfold before you and and around you and to watch you take it all in. 

It's been a very exciting week in your house because this is the week you finally became a big brother. 

I know little miss will love and adore you the same way you love and adore your big brother. 

She will likely follow you around, want to do whatever it is you're doing, and she will laugh at all your jokes because you are funny. 

Happy birthday dear sweet 'Baby Wheel'. You are not so much a baby anymore, but you still make our world spin as big and bright as your favorite red planet in the night sky. 

"Stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Let all that you do be done in love." 
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Many Big And Little Bits of Life

I feel like I'm overdue for a post filled with all the little bits of life that have been happening here. Some actually not so little, but maybe not big enough to warrant their own post. Or maybe they do, but time won't allow it just now and I want to catch up so here we are. 

Strap in for some quick and random topic changes and pictures that don't want to center on the page. 

Fall. My favorite season and this has been one of the prettiest we've had in a long, long, time. The color has been spectacular and as it happens we've been putting miles on the car traveling here, there, and back again through tunnels of gold and along southern back roads painted red-yellow-orange. Autumn reminds me the world is full of wonder and it is God who orders change in the seasons and in our lives. 

I read a really really good book. It's labeled YA but if you read the reviews you'll see adults are the readers who truly get it. I recommend-

Everything Sad Is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri

I'd given hubs tickets to see Jim Messina in the nearby small big city for his birthday back in September, and last week was the concert date. A bit inconvenient timing wise as I had to see the orthopedist at 1 PM and the concert wasn't until 7:30. Then hubs looked at his calendar and realized he had a haircut booked for 9:45 so what all this nonsense meant was two trips to town in the same day. 

Bother. Town is an hour away which meant there and back and there and back and we'd also just come home from driving the coast of California and knew we had another road trip that next weekend so whew!

Anyway, we loved the show. For any kids reading here today, Jim Messina was once upon a time part of the duo Loggins and Messina (yes, Kenny of Top Gun music fame). You older 'kids' probably know he was also part of Buffalo Springfield and a founding member of Poco. He kicked off the show with House at Pooh Corner and what adult doesn't feel a twinge of nostalgia when they hear that tune? 

The next weekend we trekked through a lot of autumn splendor to spend a couple of days with our daughter2, her hubs, her in-laws, and sweet baby J who still needs a blog name. The weather was perfect and we spent a lot of time relaxing on their back porch, wandering around a local Octoberfest celebration, and then on Sunday celebrating with their church family at little man's dedication. 

It was such a nice service and he wore his daddy's baptismal gown and loved almost every minute. The pastor invited all the kids in the service to come up front and watch and then the congregation sang Jesus Loves Me while baby boy checked out his new friends. 

He is an absolute sweetheart. 

College football. Our team is back and we are loving it. The Tennessee Vols are undefeated and it's feeling a bit like 1998. Little guy was sporting his checkerboard overalls because they're raising him right. 

We watched the Bama game at daughter2's house and when the Vols won in the last two seconds everyone forgot there was a baby sleeping upstairs. What a game! Our hometown team (who we also love and root for) is also undefeated and suddenly college football is fun again. 

We drove home on Monday and then were supposed to go to our own college homecoming that next weekend. You may recall Daughter1 was due with her baby #3 the first week of November, except God had other plans and here she is, two weeks early and perfectly perfect-

My heart can hardly take it. 

Truly. My heart is so full, and while life right now feels a wee bit crazy I am so grateful for every sweet, loud, anxious, joyful, big and small moment and mile traveled that has brought us to the now. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

A Merry Halloween Hodgepodge

Boo! It's the Hodgepodge! If you've answered today's questions add your link at the end of my post then leave a comment for the blogger before you. Here we go-

From this Side of the Pond
1. In two or three sentences describe yourself to someone who has never met you. 

I actually have an 'about me' tab on my sidebar, but it's in serious need of updating. For now let's stick to the prompt-

Married for 38+ years to my college sweetheart. Mother, daughter, sister, Nana. I love Jesus, books, words and finding beauty in the great wide somewhere. 

2. Will you celebrate Halloween this year? If you answered yes tell us how? Let's play this or that-chocolate candy or fruity candy? pumpkin seeds or pumpkin pie? Halloween party or scary movie? hay ride or corn maze? carve a pumpkin or paint a pumpkin?

We'll be spending Halloween with daughter1 and her family so definitely celebrating. The boys are so excited about their costumes which their crafty momma made. They live in one of those neighborhoods that has lots and lots and lots of children, the kind of neighborhood other people drive into so their kids can also trick or treat there. I'm expecting a lot of the fun kind of chaos.  

As far as this or that-chocolate, pie, party, hay ride, carve

3. What's something that scared you when you were young? Are you still afraid?

Our basement lol. If my mom needed me to get something from the basement I begged my sister to go with me, and she did the same. We eventually got over it, but even as a grown adults we disliked being sent to the basement to fetch something. No logical reason why, nothing truly scary ever happened in that basement, but it was a childhood fear that stuck. 

4. Your favorite soothing drink? 

Hot tea with a very small splash of milk. 

5. Are you thinking about Christmas yet? Does this make you feel happy or stressed? 

My September-October brain has not had a lot of room for thoughts of Christmas. 

Besides, I love the fall and Thanksgiving especially, so I don't want to move ahead too quickly. I guess I've thought about Christmas a very little bit in terms of who's coming when, and I've purchased a handful of gifts, but not enough to make a real dent in my gift giving list.  

I don't feel stressed thinking about Christmas. Not yet anyway. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

I have what feels like a million random thoughts currently rolling around my head but for now let's all just take a deep breath and appreciate the Tennessee sunset in my daughter's backyard-

Happy Wednesday! 

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Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 481

Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog then hop back here tomorrow to add your link to the party. See you there! 

1. In two or three sentences describe yourself to someone who has never met you. 

2. Will you celebrate Halloween this year, and if so tell us how? Let's play this or that-chocolate candy or fruity candy? pumpkin seeds or pumpkin pie? Halloween party or scary movie? hay ride or corn maze? carve a pumpkin or paint a pumpkin?

3. What's something that scared you when you were young? Are you still afraid? 

4. Your favorite soothing drink? 

5. Are you thinking about Christmas yet? Does this make you feel happy or stressed? 

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Putting The Car In Park

Bringing the recap of our trip up the California coast to an end today. 

Day 8-Half Moon Bay

This pretty little seaside town was the setting for the wedding of our friend's daughter. We've known her since she was a tiny tot and all her siblings too. 

My how the years roll by. 

We have lived a lot of life beside this family and always pick up right where we left off. 

The day started early for us. It dawned on me as we were driving into town that I would not be able to do my own hair for the wedding. Or do much of anything really, but after a week in a convertible I definitely needed hair help. No way I could get my arm in gear for that, so we phoned the hotel and they gave me the name of a nearby salon. 

The salon was of course completely booked but the stylist I spoke to was so kind and said she'd come in at 8 am to help me out. Don't you love when businesses go out of their way to be accommodating? (Aqua Beauty Lounge)

Hubs drove me over for the appointment and then we spent the rest of the morning hanging out with friends before going back to the chowder house next door for clam chowder and a lobster roll. 

Fog moved in to the bay and made for a gorgeous ethereal setting for the vows. 

The ceremony was followed by a fun reception with dinner and dancing (yup, I danced, broken elbow and all) and then we sent the bride and groom on their way with bubbles and best wishes. 

Here's hubs with the father of the bride who is one of our most favorite people in the whole wide world-

Another sister of the bride...she and my daughter2 are good buds and have known one another since birth. 

These boys all worked together once upon a time, one is second generation which is fun to see. 

We love this family so much. We treasure all the memories made and love the here and now too as we celebrate and navigate the changing seasons of our lives. 

Day 9-Saulsalito to San Francisco to home to Urgent Care

We had an overnight flight Saturday so the whole day was ours to fill. We took a long walk beside the sea with the bride's parents (nobody can say I wasn't a trooper!) then had breakfast at the hotel before saying our goodbyes and wow this was fun and can't wait to do it again! when more of their children tie the knot. 

Hubs and I have both been to San Fran more than once and honestly have zero desire to go into that city now. We needed a plan for how to fill the day and since hubs loves Sausalito and I'd never been we pointed the car in that direction and off we went. 

It was a gorgeous day and the city was bustling with people. Such a cute place! We walked a while then had a leisurely lunch with a seaside view at Scoma's. It was so good and the atmosphere, the service, the gorgeous setting, and of course the food were all wonderful. 

After lunch we walked some more, admired the boats in the marina, then made our way to the airport. Our hometown team had a game that night and since we were on west coast time realized we could watch the whole thing while eating dinner in the terminal. 

We got home the next morning (Sunday), collected the pup from the kennel, and called my doctor who advised I get back in the car for an x-ray pronto. Well, pronto after a 2-hour wait in the urgent care and three days after my son-in-law advised the same. When the doc walked in the room her first words were, 'You're holding your arm funny', followed by 'Even without me seeing an x-ray I can tell you you'll be leaving here in a splint and a sling with a referral to the orthopedist'

Party's gotta end sometime, right? 

Once I knew it was fractured I gave in to reality and basically hubs has been waiting on me hand and foot (elbow?) ever since. On the bright side it was a non-displaced fracture which meant I did not need surgery. Recovery is going very well and as the doctor says 'in another three or four weeks you can do a pushup'. 

A pushup? How about we start with drying my own hair? 

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Still Cruisin' The Coast

Trying to wrap up what might feel to you like our never-ending drive up the coast, but in reality was just nine days, start to finish. 

Day 7-Carmel to Half Moon Bay

When last we spoke I was putting myself back together after a spectacular fall. Spectacular in size and scope, not in grace and beauty, ahem. 

We made a stop in the local pharmacy for a pair of readers so I could read maps and signs and directions and it wasn't perfect but it was better than blurry. Fortunately I did have a prescription in my sunglasses, an old one, but it worked better than the readers. 

We had places to go and people to see so we hopped back in the convertible for the 17-mile drive through Pebble Beach.

For the record, I did not hop. I climbed in very very gingerly after hubs opened the door for me because getting in and out of the car was problematic. Something is definitely wrong with my elbow, but I'm going to kick back in my seat and savor the view and the ocean air and the sun on my face and worry about that tomorrow. 

Or three days from now but whatever. 

The course at Pebble Beach is so pretty and we spent some time in the gift shop before embarking on the 17-mile route. Hubs would have loved to play a round but settled for a hat and a tank of gas instead. 

Which was almost as much as a round at Pebble Beach.  

The 17-mile drive is worth every penny. There are marked stopping points along the way and I think we hit them all.. There were the ghost trees at Pescadero Point-

Hey look! 

I'm smiling, wonky arm and all. I won't be later today when hubs has to literally cut that jacket off of me, and I do notice my arm is a bit off kilter here, but still! I'm smiling.

We saw the lone cypress-

Seal Rock-

And Point Joe with all it's many Brandt's cormorants-

Further down the road we saw the Pigeon Point Lighthouse and pulled in to look around. You can't go inside anymore because a piece of the iron belt on the exterior fell off a few years ago. It's one of the tallest lighthouses in America and started guiding ships way back in 1872. 

Our destination, and the reason we traveled west to begin with, was Half Moon Bay for the wedding of our dear friend's daughter. We arrived mid-afternoon to hugs in the parking lot and fish and chips at the Chowder House next door. Side hugs because my arm and all...

sister of the bride

Let the festivities begin! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

No Fidgeting In The Hodgepodge

Happy fall y'all! It's been such a pretty autumn here so far and I am loving all the color. Welcome to another edition of the weekly Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you've answered today's questions add your link at the end of my post, then leave a comment for the blogger before you. Here we go-

From this Side of the Pond
1. What's something you wish you'd figured out sooner? 

That what matters for eternity is what I need to devote my time and energy toward. 

2. Something from childhood you still enjoy today? 

coloring, reading, swimming, a bowl of popcorn, feeling like anything is possible on a sunny summer day, someone else doing my hair lol

3. Are you a fidgeter? What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word fidget? 

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word fidget is church. I'm not much of a fidgeter but a long church service will find me shifting in my seat, crossing and uncrossing my legs, fiddling with my hair, that sort of thing. 

4. Your favorite fall vegetable? How do you like it prepared? 

I found a list of fall vegetables here, and since there isn't anything on that list I don't like it's hard to pick a favorite. Pickled beets, roasted cauliflower, and carrot soup would probably be my top three. 

5. What's something you find mildly annoying, but not annoying enough to actually do anything about? Might you now? 

My phone needs a clean up and every time I use it I think I really should do something about deleting pictures, removing unused apps, and consolidating people on my contact list who for some reason are in there twice. Do I take the time to actually do this? No. I just feel annoyed when I get that 'you're almost out of storage message' or I go to call someone and can't figure out which number is theirs and which is their spouse's. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

I've been blogging my way up the California Coast after our recent trip there and here's a little snippet from  tomorrow's post-

This would keep me awake at night. Curious to know what you're paying for gas and which part of the country you're living in? For those blogging from Europe, I know this number probably doesn't shock you the way it shocks us non-Californians. 

fyi-we paid 3.24/gallon in the upstate of South Carolina this week

fyii-If you'd like to read the travel posts you'll find Day 1 in the link here (The Golden State

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